MEDIA RANT: Lack of innovation and creativity in OOH

To some, outdoor media is just about space. If creative is late or if the OOH campaign is just a bigger version of the magazine ad, so what. In fact, if it’s a re-purposed ad, so much the better!

To others it’s all about the media rental. They sell space and that’s it. They don’t go the extra mile for a client but simply execute on brief. There’s no involvement at the beginning of a campaign, to ensure that instead of outdoor being used just as tagged-on wallpaper, its true characteristics are maximised for optimal effect.

We should fight for attention-grabbing outdoor executions that promote talkability. Fantastic, entertaining outdoor adds value to both the brand and the consumer.

As an industry we should proactively present creative ideas early on for campaigns and not only execute down the line, when budgets have been set and creative determined. We should celebrate brilliant, interactive use of OOH – that stands out and gets noticed.

Nowadays there are so many exciting things we can do cost-efficiently for clients in OOH. Why settle for second place in the creative stakes to other media such as print, TV and radio?

Another thing is the blatant disregard of basic rules for engagement. Visibility and impact are all important in OOH. Too much copy and tiny logos render OOH ads useless. People cannot speed read in the traffic! Make it easy for consumers to understand the message you’re trying to communicate and act on it.

MEDIA RAVE: Attention-grabbing, effective use of OOH

When OOH is well thought out, conceived at the beginning of a campaign and executed with proper consideration to detail, to deliver attention grabbing, innovative brand communication, I can’t help but rave.

Media agencies that promote open communication between media owners and their clients make it possible for suppliers to be involved in creating exciting campaigns that are worth raving about.

An example of attention grabbing, effective and efficient use of OOH is the environmentally friendly billboards for Mercedes-Benz Remanufactured Parts. The campaign is literally brought to life over three months, with lush green plants growing out of a remanufactured part, to eventually totally cover it!

Effective use of new innovations such as Spangles, used on the Montecasino and Hippo billboards, add shine, shimmer and sparkle to any execution. Electro-luminescence can animate and enhance movement such as in the campaign for Harry Potter, Mini and Energade cost-efficiently.

Cut outs and extensions can create 2D or 3D illusion, as utilised for Fanta. LED provides an array of colours, flash and halo effects as demonstrated by the new Audi billboards. Moulds (lightweight 3D solutions) can physically place products on street poles, as showcased recently by Strepsils and Gaviscon.

In addition to being bright and in your face, brands can really come to life with the use of motorised engines to create bubbles, smoke or even a dancing man (for Biostrath).

With a little smoke and mirrors OOH can create just about anything and really add a fresh, dynamic dimension to any campaign!

This article first appeared in The Media, August 2012